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Tampa Bay respond to latest Jameis Winston legal issue that threatens draft stock

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As the weeks have progressed in the run up to the 2015 NFL Draft Jameis Winston has emerged as the likely candidate to be taken number one overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While some still back former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota as the better prospect all signs had, to date, pointed to Winston going off the board first and arriving at the Florida franchise. This despite a number of off-field concerns.

New twist

The latest concern only reached the public sphere late last night with news that Winston is the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by the woman who accused him of raping her in 2012. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have now responded to the development.

Jameis Winston was never charged in the rape case but, now facing the prospect of being sued for damages by Erica Kinsman, there are some that believe his draft stock could be hit at this crucial stage.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done much to ease such concerns with their comments today. Unlike those who appear to have been blindsided by the lawsuit, the Bucs have been far from in the dark.

In the running

The Bucs, having had Winston in mind as a franchise QB in the making, will have done their due diligence on the hyped prospect. Taking a look at every aspect of the player it is clear that they were expecting this case to arise at one time or another.

Of course their comments do not confirm their plans to take Jameis Winston in this year's draft but they do mean he is still in the running despite the latest challenge to his character.

A gamble worth taking?

There is no doubt that the Winston has the talent to be a top quarterback at the pro level. In his two seasons with the Florida State Seminoles he threw for just shy of 8,000 yards and 65 touchdowns - losing just one game in the process.

His physical and technical characteristics have also impressed onlookers. The only issue is whether the young star can be trusted to mature into a franchise QB.

Off-field issues, whether they be the dropped rape allegation charge or misdemeanours including shoplifting crab sticks and shouting vulgar remarks in a crowded school cafeteria, have meant red flags have surrounded Winston as he looks to make the jump from college to pro football.

What do you think Bucs fans? Is Jameis Winston your quarterback of the future, or is he too much of a risk? Have your say in the comments section below...  

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NFL Draft
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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